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Life's a beach for the 11.5m tourists who jet into Nice Airport each year

Life’s a beach for the 11.5m tourists who jet into Nice Airport each year

The official French tourism stats are hot off the press. These new numbers show rises and falls in incoming tourist nationalities over the previous 12 months.

More importantly, they predict where your Nice holiday rental income will come from in 2015.

At first glance there’s no great surprises. France remains the most popular tourist nation on earth. The USA is second, followed by Spain, China, Italy and Turkey. Tourists spend more in America than they do in France (more Vegas hotels, less Breton campsites). But, as they say, plus ça change.

When those tourists get to France it’s as expected. The most popular cultural site is the Louvre (7m visitors). Versailles and the Eiffel Tower come second and third. The most popular tourist attraction, Disneyland Paris, trumps all three (15m visitors).

And as ever, Paris is the most popular département for tourists. The Cote d’Azur – that’s us ladies and gentlemen – is second in terms of visitor numbers, tourism spend and everything else.

But delve deeper and the stats are shocking. Because although France keeps welcoming the world with art, baguettes and Coco Chanel, the make-up of those visitors is changing rapidly. And as you market your Nice holiday home to foreigners, its important to know.

Spanish visitors numbers to France are down 12%. Belgians are down 10%. Italians are down 3%. Scared? Don’t be. Economic recession may have harmed some EU countries, but elsewhere the prognosis is peachy.

Because on the whole numbers to France are rising. Brits are up 7% (strong economy, stronger pound). Canadians up 16% (new flights, no recession). Aussies are up 15% (strong currency). The biggest rise? Yes, it’s China (up 23%).

Our predictions for 2015? More of the same. A weakening Euro and new flights to Nice (hello Montreal! hello Tel Aviv! hello Istanbul!) will keep foreigners piling in, especially Americans as the dollar reaches a 10-year high. And many will rent or buy a Nice holiday apartment when they arrive.

We’re excited for the next 12 months, and we hope you are too.

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